Grandmother who went viral after inviting wrong teenager to Thanksgiving loses husband to coronavirus
© Twitter

The husband of Wanda Dench, the grandmother from Arizona who went viral after she accidentally invited the wrong teenager to Thanksgiving and ended up spending the holiday with him, has reportedly died after he contracted the novel coronavirus. 

Jamal Hinton, the then-teenager who is now in his 20s, confirmed the news about Dench’s husband, Lonnie, on Twitter late Wednesday.

“As some of you may have already found out tonight Lonnie did not make it ... he passed away Sunday morning,” Hinton said, “but Wanda told me all the love and support he was receiving put a huge smile on his face so I thank every single one of you guys for that!”



In a statement to AZFamily, Wanda Dench said her husband “had the truest heart of love, like no other.” 

“He did so many acts of kindness that no one ever heard about,” she continued. “He was my hero. And I’m a better person because of him.”

The news comes days after Hinton announced on Twitter that Wanda and Lonnie had both contracted COVID-19. However, at the time, Hinton said that Lonnie had been in hospital battling the virus and pneumonia.

Hinton and the Denchs met in November 2016 after the then-high school student had been accidentally invited to their Thanksgiving dinner by Wanda Dench. The grandmother said she had she invited Hinton over text after mistaking his number for her grandson’s number.

Hinton and Wanda Dench later realized her mistake after they sent photos of each other in text exchanges from the time that had gone viral then.



“You not my grandma. Can I have still have a plate though?” Hinton wrote then.

“Of course you can,” Wanda Dench wrote back. “That’s what grandma’s do ... feed every one.”

Since then, Hinton and the Denchs have celebrated Thanksgiving together, marking their fourth holiday together this past November.